Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Bridge, Study for Geometric Composition,© by Ruth Zachary


In early morning darkness,

before the sun rises

on the east side of Greeley,

The train whistles the miles

from North to South.

I imagine smoke rings,

or round puffs blown out,

like E.E. Cummings'

little old balloon man

whistling far and wee.

When I was young,

we could still hear the train

sound its steam whistle

between Harlan and Mesick

In its Southeast run

through the twenty mile woods

west of our farm, on public land.

Chills would play my spine like

fingers on the stops of my clarinet.

The Creative Process for Writing and Other Art Forms Can Be Related.

Inspiration for writing and other art often comes from unexpected places and times.
In addition to memory, associations can lead from one image to another. Awakened in the night by the train whistle carried on the wind to my open window, much of this poem was created in the darkness. The image of the bridge abstraction reminded me of the train trestle crossing the Manistee River in Michigan, and of the metal bridge the school bus went over every school day. Often when the water was high, I would also get shivers while crossing that bridge.

One association can lead to another. Often I write down the ideas and these jottings can lead to other poems. Images also can stimulate writing, and poems can suggest images. The "Twenty Mile Woods" conjures other mysteries in my mind, connections which lead to many places.

Writing and Images are the Copyright of Ruth Zachary

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